Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis in Indonesia

Sylvia D. Elvira, Petrin R. Lukman, Limas Sutanto, Alfi F. Almasyhur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indonesia, a country with a vast population of approximately 275 million people on over 17,000 islands, currently has 1,221 psychiatrists nationwide. Psychodynamic psychiatry and psychoanalysis are integral to the practice of psychiatry in Indonesia, primarily because of the charismatic influence of Bachtiar Lubis, who trained in Canada in the early 1960s. Upon his return to Indonesia, Bachtiar Lubis supervised a generation of psychiatrists, including two of this article's authors, who carried on his pedagogical work. The psychodynamic model and treatments have faced obstacles limiting their acceptance in Indonesia, including importing a Western model that has not been culturally adapted to treat patients in the East, the stigma of mental illness in local communities, and the complex comorbidities of persons who seek psychiatric care. Psychodynamic psychotherapy in Indonesia is presently taught in university-based residency programs for eight semesters. A psychodynamic psychotherapy competency-based curriculum was adopted nationwide. The dissemination of psychotherapy knowledge and skills is greatly assisted by an active psychiatric professional association-the Indonesian Psychiatric Association Psychotherapy Section, a member society of the World Federation for Psychotherapy. The authors propose international and regional academic collaborations to maintain enthusiasm among trainees and improve quality of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalPsychodynamic Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Asia
  • psychiatric residency training
  • psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Southeast Asia
  • supervision


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